There’s still time for small gift and novelties shops to boost foot traffic during the topsy-turvy holiday season. Here are three juicy tips to keep your small town business abuzz.
Let’s face it: big-box stores invest big bucks in advertising during the holiday season. So how can smaller merchants stand out? Could there actually be a market for your emoji mugs and superhero aprons? You’d better believe it!
In lieu of a millionaire’s budget, here are three easy and affordable ways to attract customers’ attention and keep them coming back for more.
Seek Local Media and PR Attention. Right Now.
Consumers suffer from daily social media bombardments, so why not fly above the radar? Give your store some additional attention this holiday season by reaching out to your local press: newspaper editors, local magazines, community blogs — even area television shows — are always seeking great stories to share with their audiences.
Want to learn more about how to promote your gift shop? Register for ASD Market Week here. It’s free.
Once you’re in the spotlight, offer a few holiday shopping tips to position yourself as the go-to expert in your local community. Make sure you exhibit unique items from your store or special events that you have scheduled over the holiday season. Remember that the media isn’t looking to give you a promotional pitch. It’s your moment to wow them with fascinating tidbits and down-to-earth charm.
PR Pitch Idea: List a few funny or amazing items and tag them, “Gifts and novelties that everyone will be buying this year.”
Schedule Special Events in Your Shop. Today.
You should plan at least one mini event for each week in December and a larger, grander event at a strategic moment during your store’s holiday season. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to connect with your customers. Train your retail team to promote upcoming events at the checkout counter. “Save the Date” postcards are essential. And don’t forget to spread the word using social media and weekly e-newsletters!
In-Store Event Tip: Consider hosting a post-holiday/just-after-New-Year’s-Day event.
Join Forces with Area Businesses. Yeah, for Real.
The key to gaining customer attention is to partner with, and cross-promote like-minded businesses. For example: if you sell mugs and mason jars, then why not ask your favorite local coffee shop to promote your products? And those funky patterned socks you’re carrying? It’s a no-brainer: hook up with a local shoe shop! The possibilities are endless — especially if you collaborate on cross coupons and other special offers.
The Do-This-Always Insider Tip: Stock high-margin products near your cash wrap/POS.
Think outside the shop — and start small if you have to. Plan an event (or two), partner with like-minded establishments (and offer cross-promotions), and perhaps even coax the local press. Sometimes it takes a village. And when it comes to holiday success, more can truly be merrier.
Do you want to attend free retail strategy sessions and find amazing gifts and novelties for your shop? Get your free ticket here to ASD Market Week in Las Vegas!
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is a columnist for Forbes, publisher of the online magazine Retail Minded, and co-founder of the Independent Retailer Conference, which takes place at ASD Market Week. (You can attend for free by registering today!)